Header image  
Executive Transportation Solutions  

History of the Western Cape P3

On 9th November the extension of the electric tramline between Camps Bay and Sea Point was opened.

The electric tramline public service was extended to a Kloof Nek line. Work commenced on the foundations of a new power station in Dock Road, near the docks, known as the Central Power and Lighting Station.

Work commenced on the superstructure of the Central Electric Power and Lighting Station, soon to be more generally known as the Dock Road power station.

14 April - The official opening of the Central Electric Station in Dock Road.
November - A cooling tower was erected and commissioned at the Dock Road power station, thereby enabling the plant to be run more efficiently "condensing" rather than largely "non-condensing", or atmospherically, as in the past.

Cape Town was declared the legislative capital of the newly-formed Union of South Africa. The Cape Province retained voting rights for non-Whites. The Cape Town City Hall, in Darling Street, was built with its impressive opulent decorated marble facade which is combined with Italian renaissance features and the English colonial style.

The Cape Town City Council entered into a five-year contract with the municipality of Woodstock to light its streets.

The Cape Town City Council entered into a ten-year contract with the municipality of Sea Point to light its streets.

The Cape Town City Council acquired all plant and assets of the Cape Peninsula Lighting Company, including the Claremont power station as well as its concessions to supply consumers in the southern suburbs.

The construction of a pier at the bottom of Adderley Street was completed. It contained an amphitheatre, restaurant, observation tower, bathing cubicles and a landing stage for sailing and rowing boats. The City of Greater Cape Town was formed by the union of Central Cape Town, Green Point and Sea Point, Woodstock, Maitland, Mowbray, Rondebosch, Claremont and Kalk Bay.

The Electricity Supply Commission (Escom) was established in terms of the Electricity Act No. 42 of 1922.

The first Town Planning Ordinance was passed by the Cape Town City Council.
The Greater Cape Town area was extended to include Wynberg.


Escom's first thermal power station, Salt River No. 1, generated electricity for the first time.

The first bricks were laid down as a start to a new housing scheme which would form part of the Canterbury Square-Bloemhof housing scheme in the centre of the District Six area where virtually none of the existing residents were able to afford new, higher rents.
13 May - a formal agreement, regulating the generating resources of the Cape Town City Council and Escom, and known as the "pooling" agreement, was entered into between the two parties for a firm period of 25 years.

February - the Cape Town City Council authorised the use of trolley buses, or trackless trams as they were called.

The Slums Act of 1934 was passed. This gave municipalities and the government the authority to acquire slum properties. It could have encouraged landlords to improve their buildings but effectively resulted in areas being more easily demarcated for development. District Six presented special problems in this regard and it was envisaged that decentralisation would be necessary.

The reclamation of 480 acres of land on the foreshore was started. This included the expansion of the harbour and the expansion of the central city by some 270 acres.

The first of a series of laws was promulgated in National Parliament which diminished the voting rights of non-Whites in the Cape (Representation of Natives Act).
February - trolley buses were now running on the first route to the Gardens, Tamboerskloof and Kloof Nek.

29 October - trolley buses were put into operation on the Cape Town to Wynberg route.

The first trolley bus ran on the Adderley Street to Sea Point route, using the same route as the last rail tram.

September - street lighting restrictions imposed during the war were lifted and a start was made on significantly improving the street lighting system.

This year saw the ending of the ambivalence towards residential segregation. The Nationalist victory was pivotal in ending this ambivalence and it had apartheid (separate racial development) as its central theme. The National Party's Group Areas Act was to prevent the widening of mixed areas.

The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act was promulgated. The Post-office apartheid also started : Europeans and non-Europeans had to stand in separate queues in post offices and were served at different counters.

Some of the Acts passed by the Government: The Immorality Act, the Group Areas Act, the Suppression of Communism Act, and the Population Registration Act (which officially divided South Africans into 'White', 'Coloured', 'Asian' or 'Native'). It was compulsory for all Capetonians over 16 to carry ID cards specifying their race.

A strong multi-racial front and multi-organisational opposition to the Nationalist Party started to emerge.

April - Table Mountain was floodlit by means of a battery of searchlights for the tercentenary celebrations commemorating the landing of Jan van Riebeeck.

The Separate Amenities Act was passed.
1 February - the Table Bay power station went into full commercial operation with what was then deemed to be its ultimate capacity.

The Congress of the People and Freedom Charter was arranged by the ANC, SACPO, the South African Indian Congress and a small (white) Congress of Democrats.
The Group Areas Development Act was passed which laid out guidelines for the disposing of property if they did not belong to the right race.
The City's first 66kV electric cable went into commercial service.

Segregation was introduced on buses.

12 May - The "pooling" agreement between the Cape Town City Council and Escom expired and was not renewed.

An enormous road construction project was started. The area under construction included Table Bay Boulevard, Settlers Way, Eastern Boulevard, Liesbeeck Parkway and Black River Parkway.

The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) party was formed.

This year saw the beginning of the 'armed struggle'. Both the ANC and the PAC launched their armed wings - uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) and Poqo, and secret training camps were established in the Cape Town area.

Robben Island used as a 'maximum security institution' and thousands of black political prisoners were sent there.
15 August - the official opening of the Athlone "A" power station.

Nelson Mandela (African National Congress) was sentenced to imprisonment on Robben Island.

District Six was declared a "White Group Area" by the ruling party at the time, the National Party. This meant that all buildings except religious ones could be demolished ('slum clearance'). About 150 000 people (mostly Coloureds and Africans) were forced to move to the older residential areas of the Cape Flats.
Table Mountain was floodlit for the fifth anniversary of the Republic, using high-powered xenon floodlights, which later became a permanent installation.

Coloured representation in both the Cape Provincial Council and the national House of Assembly was stopped.

The early 1970s saw the emergence of various shanty towns - Unibel (1972), Crossroads (1974), KTC (1975), and Modderdam (1975). District Six was renamed 'Zonnebloem' by the Government.

Building of the Nico Malan Theatre, situated in Cape Town, was completed.
The Cape Town City Council entered into a 20-year bulk supply agreement with Escom.

The Gatherings and Demonstrations Act passed.